Move Over, Salty; There’s a New Flavor at the Top of Americans’ Lists

Kettle Brand Predicts 2013 Flavor Trends; National Survey Confirms Shifting Tastes

SALEM, Ore.--()--American palates now prefer sweet and smoky above other popular flavors, according to a Kettle Brand-commissioned national survey conducted in December.* Kettle Brand has led flavor trends for more than 30 years with all-natural flavors like Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper, which was the first of its kind in 1999, as well as Spicy Thai™, Buffalo Bleu™ and Honey Dijon.

The company is predicting a new wave of flavor sensations for 2013, and this summer will launch at least one new flavor to appeal to the evolved consumer palate. Kettle Brand Chief Flavor Architect Carolyn Ottenheimer, who has led innovation at the brand for 13 years, keeps an eye on the menus of the nation’s hottest restaurants, frequents specialty deli and food shops, and stays on top of international flavor trends. She sees five emerging flavor themes for the year ahead:

  • Sweet and Smoky (e.g., praline bacon with apple)
  • Hot (e.g., sriracha, habanero, wasabi)
  • Sweet and Salty (e.g., salted caramel, kettle corn)
  • Tangy (e.g., kim chi, pickles, kraut)
  • Floral (e.g., juniper, lavender, spruce shoots)

Results from Kettle Brand’s recent consumer survey show Americans agree. Fifty-eight percent of the nation prefers the combinations of sweet and smoky or sweet and salty, followed by 23 percent who crave hot flavors such as habanero or wasabi.

“Beyond these popular tastes, larger social trends are influencing the flavors Americans are craving,” said Ottenheimer. “There is a trend toward home-made, artisan and slow-cooked foods, as well as knowing where your food comes from, which impacts many of the up-and-coming flavor categories. Increased access to global flavors is also having a huge impact – what used to be considered exotic is now expected.”

For 30 years, Kettle Brand has been committed to innovation – from pioneering the kettle-cooked category, to using real sliced potatoes in its Kettle Brand Bakes line, to producing more than 40 bold and unique flavors of kettle-cooked potato chips. Testing for Kettle Brand’s newest flavor is currently under way, and Ottenheimer predicts it just may be the next Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper.

About Kettle Brand®

Kettle Brand is a pioneer of and one of the leaders in the premium kettle-cooked category, producing six premium product lines – Original, Krinkle Cut™, Organic, 40 Percent Reduced Fat and Bakes potato chips, as well as TIAS! ™ tortilla chips. Committed to making every product with all natural ingredients and without trans fats, artificial flavors or preservatives, the brand is the first Non-GMO Project verified potato chip company. Its products are sustainably produced and packaged in three state-of-the-art facilities in the U.S. and U.K., and distributed throughout North America, the United Kingdom, Western Europe and several countries in Asia. For more information visit

About Diamond

Diamond Foods is an innovative packaged food company focused on building and energizing brands including Kettle Brand® Potato Chips, Emerald® snack nuts, Pop Secret® popcorn, and Diamond of California® nuts. Diamond’s products are distributed in a wide range of stores where snacks and culinary nuts are sold. For more information visit

*December 2012 Kelton phone survey of 1,000 Americans, on behalf of Kettle Brand


Maxwell PR
Casey Colesworthy, 503-231-3086


Maxwell PR
Casey Colesworthy, 503-231-3086